Gardens are spaces where humans interact with plants. Therefore their design should evoke and shape emotions. I expect this to work without the need for explanations. The intended feel of the garden should be immediately and intuitively accessible to the visitor.
The plants lacked classic perfection. They might even have looked weedy had they not been perfectly selected and placed. It looked like each plant was in the exact spot where it had chosen to grow. This was spectacular show garden design with a foundation of quietly sophisticated botanical excellence.
One reason why the Savill Garden appeals to me might be that it is what I thought a garden ought to be when I was growing up in Germany in the 1970s and 80s. Today I know this garden style represents just one school of thought. But I still enjoy it, particularly when executed so well.
Within this spartan simplicity, cultivated with meticulous care, I feel as if I am in a Japanese temple, pleasantly sheltered, meditative. The perfect place to contemplate the beauty of nature.
I decided this grass mono-culture was where I would try to make a difference as a gardener. If I managed to diversify the planting in this area, it would create more beauty for my own enjoyment as well as more diverse habitats for wildlife. That would be the perfect balance of my needs and those of the ecosystem that was my garden.
In front of me was a meadow, maybe 200 square metres in size, with some ferns at the edges and two fruit trees in the middle. The meadow was surrounded by old brick walls, partly covered with ivy, and beyond them the trees of neighbouring gardens. The sun was shining, the air was full of birdsong, it was a paradise!
“Houseplants are bought for aesthetic reasons, but then plastic flowers could have replaced them long ago,” reflects Thomas, “So there must be some reason why we think a real flower is more positive than a plastic flower.”
David and Caroline’s small outdoor space does not limit their passion for plants. On the contrary, it seems to fuel their endless curiosity and patient observation of every detail of every plant.
I used to think going for walks around the same few streets each day was boring. But I was wrong. I have rarely experienced spring as intensely as this year!
There were thousands and thousands of blue flowers covering the entire forest floor. It was like the trees had been put on a deep-blue high pile carpet of vast proportions. We had found a bluebell wood.